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The Basics of Penetration Testing

Businesses and organizations should be aware that there are a lot of threats that could harm their data and information networks. There may be malicious individuals that may seek to hack into network systems for profit or to destroy the image of a company. Organizations can prevent hackers from destroying valuable data by conducting regular penetration testing on their IT network. 

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is a process used by ethical hackers to deliberately breach an organization’s network system to ensure that security flaws exist. When penetration testing is done successfully, the results of the testing will allow the testers to recommend solutions on how to improve the network system of the organization further so that future cyber-attacks may be prevented. 

The main goal of such tests is to improve the overall network security of an organization. It also serves as the protection of all connected devices within the organization’s network. 

Who Should Do the Penetration Testing?

The company’s internal IT professionals may do penetration testing on an organization’s network system. However, to prevent the testing from bias, it is recommended that penetration testing should be done by IT professionals that are not connected with the organization. 

How Does Penetration Testing Work?

Penetration testing takes several steps. IT professionals that will do the penetration testing review an organization’s network system by reviewing user documentation, network usage, and network specifications. These ethical hackers will then use the information they gathered to design a series of tests that will prove that the organization’s network system is vulnerable to being breach. 

Network Interfaces

Pen testers gather information about the interfaces that connect software with external environments. They test any weaknesses from user interfaces and application programming. If the interfaces of the organization’s network system have flaws, the IT professionals doing the testing will find it. 

User Alert Errors

Penetration testing also checks for all the dialogues associated with user alerts and error messages. This is the information that is communicated to external users of an organization’s network system. 

Disaster Scenario Identification

Penetration testing also identifies different disaster scenarios that can attack an organization’s network system. The network professionals will implement known threats and may devise new threat models that can exploit the weaknesses of a network system. During the actual penetration testing, IT professionals will test every aspect of the network system with the different threat scenarios that they have designed. The results will then give the IT professionals recommendations on how to increase the security of the network system. 

After the penetration testing, the IT professionals who did the testing will give out information on how they have identified the security issues. These reports will show the list of all vulnerabilities that were discovered during the testing. The description of the penetration testing will be technically detailed, and recommendations would be given to the organization’s upper management as well as the organization’s own IT professionals. 

Overall, penetration testing is a worthwhile investment for small to big organizations that rely heavily on network systems to conduct their daily business operations. Penetration testing must be done to the network system of the business before releasing the network system to the external environment. 

Penetration testing is doing everything to a network system to fail. If a network system does not show any signs of vulnerabilities, then the IT professionals of that company did an outstanding job in planning and designing of the network. 

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